HB 571 was heard in the House Committee on Appropriations on Monday due to a tax feature applicable to extracted carbon dioxide. As anticipated, it received a quick and favorable vote after an uneventful hearing and will likely be set for a vote on the House floor next week.
In stark contrast, an exciting and much longer day of hearings in the House Committee on Natural Resources and Environment on Tuesday resulted in the following:
- HB 453 and HB 454 were involuntarily deferred, effectively leaving them to die in committee. Both would have impacted CCS projects statewide by limiting CCS facilities to the Gulf of Mexico or by requiring local approval at the parish level for any CCS projects.
- HB 308 received a tie vote and will remain in committee for now. That bill would require environmental impact statements for CCS projects involving Lake Maurepas and the Maurepas Swamp Wildlife Management Area, which is somewhat similar to the environmental analysis that would also be required under HB 571, as amended.
- HB 120 and HB 267 were voted favorably. Both bills directly affect CCS projects related to Lake Maurepas. The first would probit all above-surface structures on Lake Maurepas and Lake Ponchartrain, and the second would impose a ten-year moratorium on any CCS activity involving Lake Maurepas and the Maurepas Swamp Wildlife Management Area. These two bills are expected to be set for a vote on the House floor late next week.
The remaining CCS house bills are set for hearing on May 10 in the House Committee on Natural Resources and Environment. Those bills include: HB 10, which removes CCS expropriation authority; HB 35, which prohibits CCS in St. Helena Parish; and HB 312, which removes CCS damage caps and imposes strict liability.
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